You know how when you have one child, you feel like you can never love another child as much as you love that first child? You know what I mean. In fact, I was so afraid of not loving #2 as much as #1 that I worked double time to make sure they always felt equal. Then I got afraid that #1 would feel left out because of #2 and I left the hospital within 24 hours of giving birth to #2 because when #1 came to the hospital to meet her sister, she looked completely baffled at me, as if I had somehow betrayed her. I was out. I waddled my exhausted, hemorrhaging self right out of the hospital and right into the middle of the rest of my life.
There has always been this delicate balancing act that I have had to maintain. I learned almost immediately that I didn't have to split my affection at all, in fact, I am pretty sure that my heart doubled in size each time I gave birth. But I did have to learn a lesson and that was that no two children are alike and I also had to learn to accept that while I love them every single day of their lives, there will be days that I might not like them or vice versa and that's normal.
In the beginning, I will admit that I compared one to the other. Why did this one start crawling at 6 months and why did that one only crawl in reverse? Why did this one sleep through the night and that one was colicky? Why was this one easy like Sunday morning and that one hell on wheels? Why? Then, I stopped comparing and appreciated them both for who they were. And who they are is two completely separate but equally awesome children.
My girls are night and day. One is very outspoken and loves to be the center of attention while the other one is more quirky and likes to hang back and take it all in. One is very much on the straight and narrow path while the other one likes to test the limits. One loves that things come easy to her and the other one has the never say die attitude. They are both determined and strong willed but they are very different people. I love that about them. I think this works in their favor as sisters and friends.
My husband and I are complete opposites in many ways, except in one way that we are completely the same, we believe in one another and we believe that what we have is worth fighting for and our girls are the same way. We love them both exactly the same (to the moon and back and more than that) but they are completely different from one another and that is better than okay.
How do you let your kids know that it's okay to be their own person and to follow their own path?